The Lieutenant (known by no other name) was the second-in-command of the Black Company during the events of The Black Company and much of Shadows Linger. He became the band's Captain and led them through their ~7 difficult years as the backbone of the New White Rose Rebellion.
In his youth he sailed as a cabin boy, where he learned ships. Later he received an education in military engineering. This included a specialty in siege weapons, as evidenced during the Battle of Juniper where he directed the construction and very effective usage of at least four types of such weapons: ballistas, catapults, mangonels, and trebuchets. By the time he joined the Black Company he was already an experienced soldier and tactician. In combat, he "lugs a hanger that is damned near an executioner's sword".
The Lieutenant was a staunch traditionalist when it came to the administration of the Company, and rarely fraternized with the other members. When he did socialize, it was over a game of tonk, but he was a notoriously poor player, even worse than One-Eye. According to Croaker, he had a bizarre sense of humor though he seldom showed it and was most often a "sour" man.
The Black Company[edit | edit source]
After the uprisings in Beryl initiated by the faction called the Blues, the Black Company entered into the service of the Lady. The Lieutenant and the rest of the Company sailed aboard the imperial flagship, The Dark Wings, from Beryl, across the Sea of Torments, to Opal. When he first saw the massive vessel, he implied that the oversize ship would not be seaworthy without sorcery, according to his seaman's experience.
Shadows Linger[edit | edit source]
On the Lady's orders, the Black Company traveled clear across the northern continent to Juniper, a city far outside the bounds of the Lady's Empire in the frigid northwest. He crossed the Wolander Mountains with them, and was not part of the advance team (Croaker, Elmo, Goblin, et. al.) that had been flown into the city beforehand by flying carpet.
The Lieutenant was a key leader in the siege of the black castle during the Battle of Juniper. He oversaw the construction and direction of siege weapons of at least four types: ballistas, catapults, mangonels, and trebuchets. With his careful preparations and quick action, he was responsible for killing many of the demonic castle creatures at a critical point in the battle. When the Captain died, the Lieutenant was distraught. Per the Captain's written wishes, the Lieutenant was elected captain of the Black Company. But, despite his new rank, he steadfastly refused to be referred to by any title other than "Lieutenant".
Before The White Rose[edit | edit source]
In the six-year gap between Shadows Linger and The White Rose, the Lieutenant was commander of a reduced and renegade band, hunted by his former Imperial employers. They were now protecting Darling, a young deaf-mute girl with a special anti-magic null who was apparently the prophesied reincarnation of the White Rose.
During the first four years, he led the Company across the northern continent while being chased the entire way by the new Taken, Whisper and Journey, and their armies. This included the events of "Shaggy Dog Bridge" and "Bone Eaters". At some point, he suffered a dismal defeat at the Battle of Queen's Bridge, losing half his men, but led the surviving 100 brothers to safety. They arrived at the Plain of Fear and negotiated with the enigmatic menhirs to live unmolested in a stinking cavern called the Hole.
For the next two years, the haggard Company remained in the Hole on the Plain, safe from the Lady's forces. Now, however, they were not simply Darling's bodyguards, but had evolved into the backbone of her New White Rose Rebellion.
The White Rose[edit | edit source]
The Lieutenant was utterly dedicated to Darling's protection. He made his quarters with two other men outside her door in the Hole, so that "if ever the enemy reaches Darling, it will be over their bodies". He was not mentioned frequently in Croaker's Annals for The White Rose, but, he must have been a linchpin for Darling's strategic military training.
The Lieutenant personally led the surprise raid on the Limper's compound outside Rust which was ordered by Darling. He commanded about 35 men, including Elmo, Silent, Goblin, One-Eye, Croaker, Tracker, and Tracker's hound Toadkiller Dog. When their ride – a giant windwhale – fled in fear prematurely, he kept his cool and orchestrated the successful repulsion of a much larger Imperial force. They were eventually rescued at the last moment by a replacement windwhale.
At the Battle of the Barrowland the Lieutenant led the diminished Company against the Dominator alongside their former enemies/new allies: the Lady, her new Taken, and the Eternal Guard. There, he and Elmo were slain by the Dominator in hand-to-hand combat:
|“||Elmo, the Lieutenant, and Silent jumped the Dominator the moment the windwhale dropped him. That was like jumping a tiger. He threw Elmo thirty feet. I heard the crack as he broke the Lieutenant's spine.||”|
His body was buried in the Barrowland beside the dozens of other Company fatalities from that battle. Although only ten of the Lieutenant's men would make it out from that battle alive, the woman he swore to protect, Darling, survived as well.